A Video by Haytham Al KhateebAt approximately 12pm today two Israeli military jeeps invaded Bilin village in the West Bank of Palestine. Jeeps had been sighted around 9am, south of the yellow gate (the entrance used by the army to enter the village during invasions) where weekly demonstrations are held on Friday. The jeeps turned onto a dirt road to follow a group of children, and began shooting metal tear gas canisters into the fields and olive trees where the kids stood yelling back. The invasion lasted about 15 minutes, and the soldiers continued firing tear gas at the kids when videographers and photographers arrived. At 2:30pm and again at 6pm military helicopters flew over the village.
Children often play near what is now the edge of the village. This is only the edge of the village due to the installation of the Israeli apartheid fence (a.k.a. apartheid wall) which separates Bilin residents from approximately 60% of their land. When Palestinians are sighted near the wall by the high-powered surveillance camera (which is outside the wall between the village and Modin Illit Israeli Settlement) for even a short period of time, soldier and/or jeeps arrive to investigate. Children will sometimes throw rocks at the soldiers, who then generally respond by shooting tear gas at them from short range. Many people from Bilin take evening walks to the fence or along the road near the fence with their families to enjoy the beauty outside the residential part of the village. In the last year there have been multiple serious injuries as well as one death from short-range tear gas shootings. www.bilin-ffj.org